HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – An Arkansas mother says an IHOP manager discriminated against her 3-year-old son, who was born without arms.
Alexis Bancroft said her son, William Ragsdale, uses his feet to feed himself, and eats that way when he and his family go out to eat.
On Saturday, he wanted pancakes.
Bancroft said the general manager told her he couldn’t sit on the table and touch the syrup containers because it was a health department issue.
“When we got there, I carried him in, took him to the bathroom and washed his feet so he could eat,” said Bancroft. “I asked her, ‘Do you ask all of your customers if they washed their hands before they touch them?'”
Bancroft said the manager apologized, but the damage was already done.
They got up and left without paying for their drinks. Bancroft then took to Facebook to explain the situation.
Her post has since gone viral.
Several servers messaged her that they were deeply ashamed of what happened and completely shocked with their manager. The manager even messaged Bancroft.
“Apologizing, saying it wasn’t intentional but my son can’t get that back,” said Bancroft. “The very next day he didn’t want to sit on the table to eat. He wanted to sit in a chair.”
In a statement, IHOP President Darren Rebelez said the owner of the Hot Springs location will continue to work with the mother to resolve the issue.
“IHOP and our franchisees do not tolerate actions that are or allude to discrimination of any type. The franchisee at this location has been in touch with the guest to express his sincerest apologies and will continue to be in communication with her to resolve the issue. Additionally, the franchise will also retrain team members to ensure IHOP’s level of service, particularly regarding guests with disabilities, is provided to all.”